Warning: Some readers may find the images in this article graphic.
Sarah Toyer, from the US, said as soon as she discovered she was pregnant for the fourth time, she was determined to have a “maternal assisted c-section”.
This where mothers reach into their womb to help deliver their baby into the world.
“I was lying on the operating table watching my son’s head being pulled from my womb,” Toyer shared on the Birth Without Fear Facebook page.
“I reached down and put my hands under his arms and lifted the rest of him out of my own body. It was the most incredible thing I have ever done.”
The first photo shows Toyer holding her son under his armpits, and the second shows her having lifted him up out of her belly.
“It was important to me [to do this],” Toyer told Babble. “Because I had never been able to push my baby out and experience a normal labour and birth.
“I thought this would be the closest thing to a natural birth, which I knew I could never have.”
Toyer said it wasn’t guaranteed that she would be able to help deliver her son.
“I talked to every midwife, doctor, and surgeon about what I wanted to do [before the birth], but they all said it would depend on the surgeon on call that day,” she wrote.
“I highly recommend you stick to your guns about what birth you want. Welcome earth side baby Spencer.”
The photos have been liked more than 12,000 times on Facebook in six days.
“Powerful,” one woman wrote. “But I would faint seeing a hole in my body this large.”
Another commented: “What an incredible moment - well done. I wish I did this.”
Friends and family commenting on the photo added that Toyer also had the experience filmed, but chose not to share it.
“Sooo proud of my friend and super mum of four, Sarah Toyer,” Nolz Rio wrote about the post.
“Incredible is an understatement - I watched the video of her delivering Spencer and it is nothing short of amazing.”